Cobalt Robotics has raised $12m from investors including Sequoia Capital, Storm Ventures and Founders Fund, to fund its security ‘bots.

The patrolling robots aren’t for residential use though. They roll around, protecting property from intruders, reporting problems, such as water leaks and ensuring employees are always safe when they’re at work.

The company was founded by ex-Google X worker Travis Deyle, who worked on the tech giant’s smart contact lens project, and now-CTO Erik Schluntz, who almost joined the SpaceX team, but instead decided to set up his own robotics project.

Cobalt Robotics’ smart security system can do everything a real security guard can do – scan badges and check they’re either employees or visitors, logging them against the visitors book or employee database, detect when a door is opened that shouldn’t be, uncover any water leaks, spillages or anything else that may present a risk to workers or office visitors and then alert a human security team that can deal with the issue.

“Our system provides one person with situational awareness across an entire space at one time,” Deyle said. “The idea is to let machines do what they’re good at and people do what they’re good at.”

Backer Sequoia’s Alfred Lin explained Cobalt Robotics’ roving security robot provides a unique opportunity for businesses. With mass shootings and terrorism a huge concern for business owners, they want to ramp up their defences, but the cost of security is just so huge, especially when combined with the need for greater investment in cyber security defences too.

Commercial building operators are desperately looking for ways to bolster the security in buildings, without the overheads associated with human security services. Implementing a robot may have higher upfront costs than the average employee, but ongoing costs make it much more cost-effective.